It’s no secret that most startups struggle to build a solid, scalable and remarkable business. Most remain stuck fighting for the attention of their audience, investing time and money trying to convince buyers and often engaging in price races to the bottom that leaves everyone exhausted and defeated.
The solution? Simple! Not easy, but simple indeed.
Don’t start just another [fill in the blank] just for the sake of ‘taking a slice of the cake’. That kind of cake always ends up tasting disgusting.
If you simply copy what’s already being done, you will probably live a very miserable life, competing on price, spending tonnes on marketing just to make more noise than everybody else, and watching as all the passion is sucked out of your mission.
I’m not suggesting that you should only create totally revolutionary businesses or products, like the new touch-screen, smartphone or self-driving car. But you must at the very least believe that you offer something remarkable, something different.
Strive to build something unique and create a remarkable experience for your customers and staff. Here only a few examples, there are many more:
- 500 in-house customer services employees based in Las Vegas: focus on customers – for real.
- Once they ran out of a product and instead of telling a customer they had run out and leaving them with the problem, a rep travelled to a competitor’s store, bought the shoes and delivered them to the customer personally.
- They sent a bunch of flowers to a customer who, whilst on the phone with Zappos to find out how to return an item, said she suffered from a condition that made her feet hyper-sensitive and therefore could not wear the shoes. They sent a note in the flowers wishing the woman well.
- I used REV.Com to write parts of this book, and many others have done the same. Speak into your phone (I have a strong Italian accent), click one button and 24 hours later (often much sooner than that) get an accurate transcription for very little money.
- Complete food replacement – each portion provides 100 per cent of your recommended daily allowances (RDA).
- Made a meal replacement product cool, ethical and trendy.
- Amazing and personable customer service.
- Performance-only model: alongside a traditional charging model, Genie Goals offers a pure performance model. If the client doesn’t make money, neither does Genie Goals.
- Builds bespoke technology for clients.
- Works with retail brands only.
How to be a remarkable business
How do you create something remarkable? Again, not easy but simple:
By figuring out your big WHAT.
This is a laser-focused spotlight on what you want to be known for. The features come later, the other services come later, the stuff you can upsell, cross-sell and diversify with come later.
The big WHAT is the thing that makes you remarkably different, the thing people will remember you for.
Your WHAT always comes down to a few key questions:
- What problem do you solve?
- What’s the proposition?
- What do you do?
- What’s different?
- What’s remarkable?
If you cannot explain these four points succinctly and easily in about one minute, then you’ve got more work to do. Work on your ‘elevator pitch’: could you pitch your proposition to possible investors or clients in an elevator?
If you can’t pitch it to your grandmother, you are likely drowning in tech speak.
Be clear on your differences
Having total clarity about what you do, knowing what’s different about your proposition compared to other solutions offered in the marketplace and knowing what important problem you are solving is among the most important elements that will enable you to win and stay on top.
This level of awareness allows you to:
- Target the best segment within your target market – the 20% you’re likely to create the best results for and who are likely to produce 80% of the results for you.
- Hire the right talent with a passion for your vision and the problem you’re solving.
- Build attractive compelling sales and marketing assets
- Build a pricing structure based on the value you bring
Get everyone on board
Make sure you and everyone in the business understands your big WHAT and can explain it easily. My mother still doesn’t know what I do and my children think I work at Google – my five-year-old thought I owned Google for a while!
When I say you and your teams must be able to explain your WHAT simply, I mean to your target market. You can work on your family and friends later.
Examples of companies that created something remarkable are abundant, but the list of companies that didn’t is almost endless.
Whether you build something in an existing product or service space that goes radically beyond what anyone else is doing, put a new spin on an existing service, create a new variation of one that’s revolutionary and valuable (like UBER), or create something that doesn’t yet exist (like Stripe), you must aim to build something remarkable.
The alternative is just too boring, and, simply, very likely to fail.
Be different, solve real problems and be remarkable!
Get started on your path to remarkable
Take time out to answer the following questions and make sure you come up with strong, compelling answers:
- What’s your value proposition?
- What do you do?
- What’s different about it?
- What’s remarkable?
- What problem are you solving?
About the author
More help on starting a new business
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